The popularity and exposure of women’s football has massively increased in recent years, with the 2023 FIFA World Cup set to bet he biggest and most lucrative in the tournament’s history.
This year’s World Cup has expanded from 24 to 32 teams for the first time and is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. The tournament began on 20 July and the second round of group stage games are currently underway.
Progression at the World Cup will have an extra incentive for players this time round, with FIFA increasing the money dished out to players as bonuses for reaching certain rounds of the competition.
The total prize money available to teams at the 2019 World Cup was £23m, with the United States earning £3m for lifting the trophy after beating the Netherlands 2-0 in France.
The Netherlands themselves earned £2m for reaching the final, while England brought in £1.2m with their fourth-placed tournament finish.
However, when considering that the French men’s team earned £29m for winning the 2018 World Cup in Russia, while England collected £17m for finishing in the exact same fourth place as the women did a year later, the imbalance in earnings is plain for all to see.
READ MORE ON THE WOMEN’S WORLD CUP IN AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
The total prize pot for the 2023 World Cup has been increased significantly to £88.5m and players will be directly paid by FIFA for the first time.
Each player in each squad will receive money from the governing body and that total will increase dependent on how far a team gets. The winning players will each earn £210,000 while members of any group stage side will earn £23,000.
This has been hailed by some as positive news, marking a significant progression in female players earning equal amounts to men. However, there is still some way to go, with the total prize pot paling in comparison to the figures earned by teams at the 2022 men’s World Cup.
The Australian national team released a video prior to the opening game of the tournament criticising the ongoing gulf in prize earnings between the women’s and men’s tournament, highlighting that women earned “one quarter as much prize money as men for the same achievement”.
The reputation, success and quality of women’s football continues to grow, but there still remains a lack of economic parity with the men’s game.
Former Italy international Arianna Criscione, Dulwich Hamlet’s Brittany Saylor and Football for Future founder Elliot Arthur-Worsop join Katie Cross to have football’s climate conversation about the Women’s World Cup and tournament football’s carbon footprint.
Pledgeball’s Heather Ashworth also gives an update on the Pledgeball’s new Women’s World Cup initiative. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!